Wikipedia:TheTrueSora's UBX Proposal/Straw Poll

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The Proposal[edit]

This proposal has been released as a public policy poll for the community. Please vote there, not here.

Straw Poll[edit]

The purpose of this poll is to get an idea of where people stand on various issues related to the Proposal. This is not a vote on the Proposal itself, and is not binding in any way, shape, or form.

Agree with the Userbox: namespace[edit]

This poll has closed. Please do not vote here; rather, vote on the official poll for this proposal. These votes are left for historical purposes.

Q: Do you agree with the proposed policy that all userboxes should be moved to a newly created Userbox: namespace?


  1. Support, definitely. There may be a downside to it, but I sure don't see one. Matt Yeager (Talk?) 01:33, 20 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Support. I agree completely with this proposal. I think it's much better than the present situation. Sarge Baldy 01:35, 20 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Support I'm tired of other people bitching about userboxes being in template space. Their arguement no longer applies if they get their own space. --mboverload@ 02:24, 20 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Support If I'm not mistaken, the proposal removes the threat of unilateral admin actions, which sometimes look biased. In short, if the new proposal prevents further acts like deleting the only atheist UBX (while we have 40 theist ones) and the only anti-communist box (while there are tens of communist ones remaining) --- I support this change.--Constanz - Talk 06:14, 20 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  5. Support. Tackling userbox problems is a tricky issue. This seems to be a positive step forward. But did anyone think about implementing it? Firstly it will require developers to make necessary changes in MediaWiki. When this is done, it will require en-masse moving of userboxes from Template space to Userbox space and then effecting the change across all userpages. Still I support it as the earlier this is done, the better we will be able to adress the issue. I still feel that the main purpose of Wikipedia is to be an encyclopedia rather than free web space. But there is also the arguement that everytime one builds a factory, one has to build amusement parks nearby for workers and their family to chill off. Since the incremental cost of having userboxes isn't much, and if it makes the editors happy, then why not. This will also make the edit-count tools better as now they will distinguish people who edit userboxes from those who edit actually useful article space templates. -Ambuj Saxena (talk) 07:14, 20 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
    It has been establised that the necessary changes to the MediaWiki software can be made without any serious difficulties. The task of moving all [[Template:user TEMPLATENAME]] templates to [[Userbox:TEMPLATENAME]] is one that could easily be assigned to a bot – Gurch 13:58, 22 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  6. Support. Seems like it might be a right solution. -lethe talk + 09:07, 20 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  7. Support'. This will eliminate the argument of template space.--God Ω War 19:30, 20 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  8. Support. But I doubt that the developers will be willing to create one for us :( Dtm142 23:08, 20 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
    • You don't need the developers. Just type in the url and it will spring into existence. For example, by going to this link Userbox:historybuff and filling in the content. You know have a userbox! It's easy.--God Ω War 03:54, 21 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
    • Not quite. You can do that, God of War, but it's only a virtual namespace. I'm proposing a physical namespace; an actual, Wikipedia-defined namespace, which can be used in userpages. This requires a bit of code; I've been looking through the MediaWiki software (the software Wikipedia runs on), and adding a new namespace isn't all that difficult. As long as you make the right changes in Namespace.php and Language.php, it won't be all that difficult, from what I've seen. // The True Sora 04:01, 21 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
    I'm confused, can you clarify the difference between a virtual namespace and a physical namespace? I thought everything on the internet IS virtual.--God Ω War 04:11, 21 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
    • What you proposed doesn't require any code- you put them into the Userbox: namespace, bam, use them on userpages (that's virtual). The problem, though, is that the Userbox: namespace wouldn't be programmed into the WP codebase- in reality, it wouldn't exist. By programming it into the code, it becomes offical, a physical space that is defined within Wikipedia's code itself- not just by members, but by the code itself // The True Sora 04:15, 21 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
    • God of War, when you go to Userbox:historybuff you see the tab says article because it's on the article space (like Michigan State University or any other article). However, going to User:God of War shows a user tab and going to Wikipedia:Featured articles shows a project tab. What TheTrueSora is suggesting is create a new "namespace" which would provide a userbox tab. joturner 04:28, 21 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
    • To all of the above: The required code is actually only 2 lines placed into the configuration file... in all honsty, it's quite possibly the easiest modification I've ever done. I've been using a test wiki to test out the code, and it works perfectly. Hopefully we can get this passed and have it working! // The True Sora 13:53, 21 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  9. Support. To my mind, this proposal is head & shoulders above any other I've seen. It doesn't leave the userboxes in Template: space as the inclusionists want, but it doesn't kill userbox templates wholesale, as the deletionists want. Community & diversity are preserved, while article space is sanitized. It comes closest to the middle ground, in my view. Thanks, Sora!--Ssbohio 23:38, 20 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  10. Support. Best possible compromise, as well as best alternative to the cumbersome "userfy" idea. Other Wikis that use UBXes, but don't have the problems associated with them (e.g. Uncyclopedia) would also benefit. --Yossarian 02:43, 21 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  11. Support. Great compromise. No more whining about whether individual boxes belong due to various rules that make no sense applying to them. -Goldom 莨夊ゥア 謚慕ィソ 04:22, 21 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  12. Support Best proposal I've seen. — Nathan (Got something to say? Say it.) 06:11, 21 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  13. Support. A separate template space is damn sensible. Do it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Darobsta (talkcontribs)
  14. Support. This solves the whole problem in one stroke. --stephenw32768<talk> 14:05, 21 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  15. Support I had this idea back in like feburary. It separates the un-encyclopedia stuff out so that people will know that these template are not to be used on articles. Of course, on IRC Jimbo said he was firmly, adimently opposed to the idea 100%, so even with total support of the community I don't see how this poll will help.--Rayc 14:10, 21 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
    Rayc, do you have a log of that chat? I'd be interested in seeing it, considering I didn't know it took place. However, I would hope that if Jimbo sees an overwhelming community support, he would be obliged to cede to it. // The True Sora 14:18, 21 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
    --------- No, it was one of my first times on IRC and it was the first time I had ever seen Jimbo on. I remember bringing up the idea and having him dismiss it. Though he might of changed his mind in the last 4 months. The proposal certainly does look like it's getting full support.--Rayc 19:15, 21 May 2006 (UTC) --------- Strike that, someone else has it. I posted it on your talk page.--Rayc 19:43, 21 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
    While we should arguably value Jimbo's opinion above all others, I think it's also improtant that we also gauge the level of support from the community in general before we decide what to do next – Gurch 14:03, 22 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  16. Support! Why hasn't someone done this earlier? It's the perfect solution and no one loses anything! --TauNeutrino 14:34, 21 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
    It appears to been suggested in discussion by a number of people (myself included) before now, but this is the first time a proposed policy has been drafted. Kudos to TheTrueSora for doing so – Gurch 14:03, 22 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  17. Pro --NorkNork Questions? fnord? 15:19, 21 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  18. Strong Support – I came up with exactly this idea (and mentioned it in during the discussion of the userbox issue) months ago... and was told it was a good idea, but techincally infeasible. If it's back on the agenda, I offer the strongest support possible. Just one thing: I proposed calling the namespace "User template", thought it might fit in better with the existing namespaces – Gurch 16:10, 21 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  19. Support. Excellent idea. Larix 16:34, 21 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  20. Support Definitely. It's disappointingly ironic that the issue of non-polemity has become polemical. Lkjhgfdsa 16:55, 21 May 2006 (UTC)</wheels>[reply]
  21. Support. DakPowers (Talk) 17:15, 21 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  22. Support Definately. I have been waiting for someone to make a poll on this - • The Giant Puffin • 17:16, 21 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  23. Support will put an end to this stupid Userbox war. The Gerg 17:19, 21 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  24. Support per above comments. - Tutmosis 19:13, 21 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  25. Strong support as a workaround to the Userbox War. Λυδαcιτγ(TheJabberwock) 21:20, 21 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  26. Support as a reasonable compromise to end the pointless, time-wasting Userbox wars. BryanG 21:34, 21 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  27. Support Timrem 23:28, 21 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  28. Strong support as the best userbox policy idea yet. —MiraLuka 01:27, 22 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  29. Support best solution I've seen out of this war. --james °o 01:53, 22 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  30. Support. Maybe this, if adopted, would shut up the anti-userbox faction once and for all, while still preserving their utility for the average, non-techie user. Jay Maynard 02:53, 22 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  31. Support. It's about time this happened so we can get back to doing real things with our time. -- Saaber 06:20, 22 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  32. Support Probably the best way to resolve all the issues. --Scott 10:27, 22 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  33. Support in spirit. I support the idea of a separate name space in spirit but the real issue is not technical as much as political. Enough people have already said that the technical overhead of userboxes is not enough to be of concern. The issue is the political climate of what it means to be a wikipedian and if we are people with opinions or drone employees who come in to do a job and then go away. First it has to be determined if userboxes will be allowed and then the issues of where they can be hosted can be figured out. --StuffOfInterest 12:10, 22 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Limited Support[edit]

  1. Limited Support 1) Don't allow items from the Userbox:namespace to appear in article space. 2) This space should not be a free pass against deletion. 2A) Items failing the General Speedy Deletion criteria should be speedily deleted. 2B) We need some very restricted form of deletion (not speedy deletion) for attack and inflammatory userboxes. POV stating userboxes should be safe however, one of the valuable contributions of a userbox is to reveal the POV's an author holds, so that they and other contributors can watch themselves for POV editing. GRBerry 01:40, 20 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
    Comment by author: I'm completely in support of all of your guidelines. I never intended for articles to use the Userbox: namespace (that's what the Template: namespace is supposed to be for!), and this is by no means a way to avoid deletion- if a UBX says, "I want to kill all the gays," yeah, it's should go. The same policy that we have on userpages should apply to the UBX namespace. I'll add these to the proposal now. // The True Sora 01:50, 20 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Limited Support Good idea, but there need to be guidelines as to what extent this point-of-view can go (perhaps similar to the rules for userspace). joturner 01:44, 20 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
    Comment by author: It's been added, see the proposal.
  3. Limited Support if we can disable the 'what links here' for the Userbox namespace (does anyone know how feasible/possible this would be?) Cynical 19:07, 21 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
    If userboxes are substituted into user pages with subst:, as has been recommended for some time, it's not possible to use 'what links here' on the template itself to determine which pages include it.
    However, userboxes that include <noinclude>'d category links, which place userpages containing the template into categories. These categories can then be used to list all pages containing the userbox. If this is undesirable, for whatever reason, then the solution to your concern is simply to state that userbox templates cannot place pages into categories when used.
    Note that this does not prevent the userboxes themselves from being categorised, by enclosing the category in <includeonly> tags, as is common practise with templates – Gurch 13:42, 22 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Support. Don't get me wrong, it is an excellent suggestion. I just seems too difficult to impliment, especially having to type {{Userbox:xxxxx}} everytime you want to put on a userbox. I suggest finding a way to make it so that when you put a page name in brackets on a user page (i.e. {{en}}) it will automatically register as a Userbox on the Userbox: namespace, synonomous to what occurs when you put {{NPOV}} on a mainspace (or other space) article. Now, I don't know how feasible this would be, but it would sure be a time/energy saver when it comes to not having to switch everyone's userpages over. Suggestions/comments? J@red  23:26, 21 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
    • The code isn't hard to implement as it stands now. As for having to use Userbox: within the {{}} tags, it shouldn't be all that difficult- after all, we currently use {{user UBX_NAME}} when we want to use userboxes, so I don't think it's that big of a switch. // The True Sora 01:58, 22 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
    • Exactly. No objections have been raised over the need to use [[Image:IMAGENAME]] for an image, and [[Category:CATEGORYNAME]] for a category. This only requires the same amount of typing as either of those. As for the implementation, the developers have confirmed that it is possible – releatively easy, even – to implement this. Also, your suggestion would prevent users from including non-userbox templates on their userpages. This would be a big problem, as many users include things such as the Picture of the Day or Active Fixup Projects templates on their page, templates which are also used outside of userspace – Gurch 13:34, 22 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]


  1. No -- userboxes just aren't that important. A userspace isn't justified for something as unimportant as userboxes --T-rex 02:25, 20 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  2. Aren't important enough. ~MDD4696 18:58, 21 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  3. Reject. Delete them all. They have nothing to do with building an encyclopedia. User:Zoe|(talk) 21:31, 21 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
    Just a quick note – this is intended as a compromise proposal, drafted on the assumption that the "outright deletion" and "do nothing" proposals have both failed to gain consensus – Gurch 13:46, 22 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  4. Reject. Not that important & nothing to do with encyclopedia. Write articles people! :) Renata 23:59, 21 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
    I'm not at all convinced that people would take the time they currently spend on their user pages and automatically put all of that time to editing articles if userboxes were legislated out of existence. I believe a lot fo them - whether or not they were contributors - would simply pack up and go away, believing that the admin community (who is the majority of folks pushing this issue) doesn't care about them as people. It's not a zero-sum game, and there's a lot of elasticity there. Jay Maynard 02:57, 22 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
    I agree. If people want to spend time fiddling with their userpages and making them look pretty, that's fine by me. There's nothing wrong with giving them some toys to play with. Anything that encourages them to remain with the project will ultimately result in more contributions – Gurch 13:13, 22 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]


  • It would be nice if this meant that all userbox deletions would be voted on rather than speedied. If it was something truly atrocious, it could be deleted fairly quickly once it was clear there would be a consensus, but I think we need to avoid unilateral administrative action. There needs to be at least some sense that the community supports a deletion before it takes place. Sarge Baldy 01:56, 20 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
The current standards (T1 and T2) would no longer apply, as they were used because the Tempalte: namespace should only be used for NPOV templates; since the Userbox: namespace would be declared to be allowed to have POVs, it won't apply. // The True Sora 01:59, 20 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Most "truly atrocious" userboxes would either be covered by the "general" CSD criteria (which apply to all namespaces), or would quickly reach a deletion consensus at TfD/MfD (whichever we decide is appropriate). I think the existing policies would therefore cover the new namespace adequately; there would certainly be no need for "rogue" out-of-process administrative actions – Gurch 13:52, 22 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  • The big with userboxes is that they get deleted too fast without any discussion. Their placement is less relevant. They could be placed in user space. I have no problem with that, but I'd still like to have them listed on pages like Wikipedia:Userboxes so you can find them. I would also like to see some kind of mechanism to merge redundant userboxes. // Liftarn 10:33, 20 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Userboxes would still be speedyable under the "general" criteria listed at WP:CSD – this covers such things as blank pages and recreations of deleted material, all of which would apply equally well to userboxes. Deletion discussions for userboxes may be better suited to WP:MfD (which is where userpage issues go) than WP:TfD, leaving the latter free to deal with encyclopediaic templates only. This proposal will in fact make listing all userboxes easier, as there is already a mechanism in place (through Special:Allpages) to list all the pages in a namespace. Redundant userboxes wouldn't need to be "merged" in the same way as articles; since they are small and consist of only a few words and perhaps a picture, if two near-identical userboxes were created the best course of action would be to decide which one to keep and delete the other. This could easily be handled by the appropriate deletion process. A division of opinion on a matter such as this could be solved simply by ensuring the userbox template has been subst:ed onto all users' pages (which they should be anyway) – Gurch 13:49, 22 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Sorry, but I don't agree that userboxes should be subst-ed onto user pages. That choice should be left up to the user, with the default of transclusion left as it is now. Jay Maynard 14:00, 22 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  • As I've remarked in the past on similar proposals, you'd have to persuade the developers to do this. I don't think it's going to happen. If you really do need to use Wikipedia, an encyclopedia, for the purpose of advertising your personal foibles, why not do so without abusing the template, transclusion, category and whatlinkshere mechanisms which were provided for the purpose of creating and enhancing the encyclopedia? --Tony Sidaway 17:07, 21 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  • Tony, it's not a problem. The Portal and Portal_talk pages have been in use on other Wikimedia projects for ages. All that would require on Wikipedia would be changes from "Portal" to "Userbox". // The True Sora 17:09, 21 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  • Once again: Why is it an abuse? I keep asking, and nobody seems to be able to cogently explain it. Jay Maynard 02:52, 22 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]
  • Creating a new namespace would fix one of the "abuses" you mention, namely the one about templates. I agree that having templates that should go on articles and templates that must not go on articles mixed up with each other is confusing. This solves that problem – Gurch 13:15, 22 May 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Alternative and previous proposals[edit]